Predators place Matt Duchene on IR, will be out long term.

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Predators place Matt Duchene on IR, will be out long term.

The Nashville Predators will be without a key piece of their offense and it's going to be for the long term.

The Predators officially announced on Saturday morning that forward Matt Duchene will be sidelined due to injury, and the expected timeline for his recovery is anywhere from three to five weeks. In this condensed National Hockey League season that is a very long period of time, covering far more games than you would normally expect to see during that period.

Duchene has been the subject of much criticism this season due to a combination of the Predators struggles, his lack of offensive production, and his large salary cap hit, but his underlying numbers have not been bad. There's no getting around the fact that this will be a big loss for the Predators lineup, and it comes at a time when they can least afford it.